My Favorite Bit: Lee Moyer talks about LITERARY PINUPS 2013
When I met Lee Moyer, I was fairly new to the convention circuit and he was delightful and helped me meet people. He also showed me his portfolio which was staggering and made me drool just a little. At some point, he showed me his Literary Pinup calendar, which didn’t have a home at that time. I adored it. His new project is an updated calendar that subverts the old meme of pinups to make literature being smart look undeniably sexy.
It’s also a fundraiser for Worldbuilder’s.
In 2010, I was a Guest of Honor at Baycon with author Peter S. Beagle. By the end of that Memorial Day weekend, I had showed him my collection of recently completed literary pin-ups. I had been working on them for several years as a side project, but had been repeatedly informed that calendars were a dead market. Deader than the authors I was representing. I sent Peter home with one of those pin-ups and by the time you read this, I hope I will have presented him with another pin-up, one that is truly his.
But it was a meal with author and charity founder Patrick Rothfuss (and his beautiful assistants) that proved to be the breakthrough. Last year, his brilliant charity Worldbuilders published my first Literary Pin-up Calendar: CHECK THESE OUT! The calendar made it’s debut at the 2011 World Fantasy Convention where it was espied by Neil Gaiman’s glamourous and alert assistant, Cat Mihos. (Take note: assistants are powerful and magical creatures.) The calendar made it’s way into the hands of Neil Gaiman, who was our first volunteer to be pinned up, and from him back to Peter S. Beagle, then on to Ray Bradbury, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey, Charlaine Harris, Robin Hobb, N.K. Jemisin, George R. R. Martin, and Sir Terry Pratchett.
I’ve been holding off on writing about my favorite bit because it is simply so hard to pick. Was it doing a pin-up for my hero, Ray Bradbury? Painting a character for Robin Hobb that there isn’t even fan-art of? Doing a proper garage calendar for Mercy Thompson? But for all that, and for all my dealings with splendid authors and their amazing assistants, my favorite thing surprises me a little. It’s the month of November. Not the pin-up of the beautiful Clare Grant caught infiltrating the Unseen University, but the page of dates below it. Dates. What’s wrong with me?
The line-up was so spectacular that alphabetical order was the only solution to pairing authors with months. This led to many happy coincidences in the designs of the date pages: Nora Jemisin got her pin-up of Oree on the month of her birth, Neil Gaiman ended up with a month that accommodates a 6 panel comic strip, and Sookie Stackhouse has that perfect quote for July – all to the good. But above all there is the accident of Sir Terry Pratchett ending up with the month of November…. well, Ember.
As every impatient child of the Discworld, waiting endlessly for the Hogfather knows, Ember comes before December and Ick. This not-quite penultimate month is like the other months on Discworld in that it features weeks of eight days in duration, Sunday through Octday.
On Pratchett’s spectacular and wildly-entertaining Discworld, science and magic are the same thing. Or maybe they’re different things. No, yes. Whatever they case, they’re two great tastes that taste great together. To solve the problem of Ember, I knew I needed a solution in the style of Pratchett, the wily old Arch-Chancellor himself. Having tried and discarded several unworkable approaches and having consultated with brighter practitioners, I hit upon the notion of detailing the month on the sides of a double-helix, allowing me to show the full week while hiding Octday as the spiral turns. And if a helix, why not show it draped around the Tower of Art itself? And drape it across the rooftops of the Unseen University? I tried it and it worked!
But what then for the dates? Since the days didn’t line up, I couldn’t expect a reader to guess whether the 21st was a Wednesday or Thursday. I’d have to fill each date with a designation of its day. Tricky. But what if I only used 2 letters for the day? Like a periodic table….
It took some 14 major revisions before it truly worked, but it all seems so simple and obvious in retrospect. And for all I hope it doesn’t drive anyone else to distraction, I was delighted by the challenge and the solution.
Lee Moyer is a Chesley Award-winning Illustrator, Designer, and Art Director from Portland, Oregon whose curious penchant for bizarre Kickstarter projects has, of late, been much remarked upon (and indeed quoted in Forbes and elsewhere). His work has been featured in many annuals and compendia (Spectrum, Sci-Fi Art Now, et al.), magazines (Communication Arts, Design Graphics, et al.), and institutions (Society of Illustrators, and the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian, where he was a docent for a decade). His work is found on many a book cover (Michael Swanwick, Caitlin R. Kiernan, et al.), DVD (Laurel & Hardy, HP Lovecraft -Fear of the Unknown, et al.), Poster (Call of Cthulhu, Stephen Sondheim, et al.), and Game: (13th AGE, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City,et al.). Examples of his work are at www.leemoyer.com. He has recently joined the throng of tweeters @LccMoyer.
Boswell Books with Ada Palmer on September 1, 2016
Time: 12:00 am to 1:00 am
Location: 2559 N Downer Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211
A mini science fiction convention with Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Ghost Talkers and Ada Palmer, author of Too Like the Lightning
Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Join two beacons of the science fiction and fantasy world, Ada Palmer and Mary Robinette Kowal, for a spirited conversation about their new books, writing, and who knows what else? It’s like having a science fiction and fantasy convention back in Milwaukee, only a really tiny one. Boswell-con, anyone?
Having just completed her Glamourist Histories cycle, Chicago’s Mary Robinette Kowal offers up Ghost Talkers, a just-released novel featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I. Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force. Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence. When Ginger, one of the Corps, discovers a traitor, the top brass thinks she's imagining things. But she most definitely is not.
From Ada Palmer, we present the first book of Terra Ignota, a four-book political SF epic set in a human future of extraordinary originality. Palmer has created a hard-won uptopian world built on technologically created abundance and the complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech, with normal gender distinctions now distinctly taboo, and economic and cultural competition carefully managed by central planners. In this world is Mycroft Canner, a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. He meets Carlyle Foster, a sensayer - a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. But there's another player in this story, a young boy, who could destabilize the system with his strange power to animate objects. As Hugo and Nebula winner Jo Walton writes of Too Like the Lightning: "Lots of books can knock you over and leave you reeling and dazzled when you're fifteen, but it takes something special to do the same thing to you at fifty."
About the authors: Mary Robinette Kowal is the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a multiple Hugo winner, and a frequent finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and nine manual typewriters.
Ada Palmer is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a capella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. She writes about history for a popular audience at exurbe.com and about SF and fantasy-related matters at Tor.com.
Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA
ABOUT NERDCON: STORIES
From the moment we could speak, we’ve been telling each other stories.
And since then, our stories have defined and created us. Every human society that wants to behave different first has to change the stories they tell. The story was — and remains — the key to the marvel of human progress. Stories in songs, in books, on the stage, around the campfire. Stories drove the evolution of human language and fostered the massive burst of creation that accompanied it. We celebrate our culture all the time, but we don’t do a great job of just praising the institution of the story.
Last year, with the help of 40 special guests, and a few thousand adventurous lovers of narrative, we created NerdCon: Stories, a two day conference of connection, content, instruction, and hilarity. The feel of the event was electric, the consensus was that it was maybe the best thing ever.
Now we would like to do it again, and even cooler. This time we’ll have a larger room for booths, activities, and signings. Two new ballrooms for panels and Q&As, and a bunch of small rooms for workshops and more intimate conversations.
And to reflect the diversity of ways humans tell stories this year, we’ll have over 60 special guests including authors, actors, artists, narrators, podcasters, puppeteers, comedians, dancers, directors, screenwriters, game designers, radio hosts, musicians, comic writers, and cartoonists. All of these people will come together to discuss and celebrate the institution of the story. This simple human thing that creates us and defines us.
We are made of stories. Come celebrate them at NerdCon: Stories 2016.
HERE IS A (VERY INCOMPLETE) LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE AT NERDCON: STORIES 2016:
– Panels, workshops, discussions & more
– Signings with Featured Guests
– Interactive storytelling art projects
– Live podcasts (including Improvised Star Trek & Unattended Consequences)
– Story Circle
– Live Superfight
– Lots of music (including Paul & Storm and Dessa)
– An expo hall with vendors & activities
– A board game zone
– Opportunities for live attendee storytelling
– A live performance by Rives
– Featured Guest Kaffeeklatsches (Featured Guests will hang out with small groups of attendees and have a grand old time chatting about anything & everything)